here's a good one for pollutants!

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Registered: 03-26-2003
here's a good one for pollutants!
Thu, 09-25-2003 - 10:52am
PEDIATRICS Vol. 111 No. 5 May 2003, pp. e580-e585


Breastfeeding, Exposure to Organochlorine Compounds, and

Neurodevelopment in Infants

Núria Ribas-Fitó, MD*, Esther Cardo, MD, PhD*, Maria Sala, MD, PhD*, M.

Eulàlia de Muga, MD*, Carlos Mazón, MD, Antoni Verdú, MD, Manolis

Kogevinas, MD, PhD*, Joan O. Grimalt, PhD|| and Jordi Sunyer, MD, PhD*

* Environmental and Respiratory Research Unit, Institut Municipal

d’Investigació Mèdica, Barcelona, Spain Primary Health Care Center of

Flix, Tarragona, Spain Department of Pediatrics, Hospital de Móra

d’Ebre, Tarragona, Spain

|| Department of Environmental Chemistry, CID-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain.

Objective. Exposure to organochlorine compounds (OCs) occurs both in

utero and through breastfeeding. Levels of hexachlorobenzene (HCB) found

in the cord serum of newborns from a population located in the vicinity

of an electrochemical factory in Spain were among the highest ever

reported. We studied the association between exposure to OCs and

breastfeeding on neurodevelopment in the 1-year-old infants of this


Methods. A birth cohort including 92 mother-infant pairs was recruited

between 1997 and 1999 in 5 neighboring villages (84% of possible

recruits). The mental and psychomotor development of each infant was

assessed at 13 months using the Bayley and the Griffiths Scales of

Infant Development. OCs were measured in cord serum.

Results. Dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethylene (p,p'DDE) cord serum levels

were negatively associated with both mental and psychomotor development.

For each doubling of a dose of p,p'DDE, we found a resultant decrease of

3.50 points (standard error: 1.39) on the mental scale and 4.01 points

(standard error: 1.37) on the psychomotor scale. Exposure to

polychlorinated biphenyls was only marginally associated with

psychomotor development. Prenatal exposure to HCB had no effect on child

neurodevelopment. Long-term breastfeeding was associated with better

performance on both the mental and motor scales. Short-term breastfed

infants with higher p,p'DDE levels in cord serum were associated with

the lowest scores on both the mental and the psychomotor scales.

Conclusions. Prenatal exposure to p,p'DDE was associated with a delay in

mental and psychomotor development at 13 months. No association was

found for exposure to HCB. Long-term breastfeeding was found to be

beneficial to neurodevelopment, potentially counterbalancing the impact

of exposure to these chemicals through breast milk.